My recent visit to the Menil was powerful. I spent a long time in the Cy Twombly gallery, almost always alone with the paintings. It is a remarkable gallery and remarkably underpopulated. The The Twombly viewing was in conjunction with the Menil's show of Picasso drawings ("The Line") and all the Rauschenberg work on display, and the show of West Coast Beats. There was a cumulative impact of all these elements that still reverberates.
(Regarding the Beat show, there were several George Herms pieces. Back in 2007, George Herms led a children's art workshop at the Norton Simon that I took Dot to. To demonstrate how to make an assembly George took a plastic disc, pipe cleaner, and seed husk and instantly created an assemblage. I quietly took it home after the class. So I've got a clandestine, undocumented Herms in my apartment.)
There are many things I like about Twombly. The images are sophisticated in a very non-slick manner. There is a great balance to the imagery and yet they feel like assemblages. They are like a painterly version of street photography. Cy Twombly and Gary Winogrand are brothers.
These images from Montpellier are street photography. The human element is in the hands that played a part in creating and accreting these man-made images.
Seeing Ernest Haas' photographs when I was young had a big impact. Haas had a great influence in that he used photography to capture and create abstraction. Sometimes I feel a bit like an action painter when I seize upon these images in the street.